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Die Softly

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,732 ratings  ·  106 reviews

Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.

But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surfac
Published April 1st 1991 by Turtleback Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,732 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Christopher Pike generally creates plots that are different enough to enthrall, with his other real strength lying in creating compassionate, genuine characters. In this case we have stumbling, bumbling Herb, being the typical teenage boy in that he's 'horny', yet being unique because of actual tenderness.

Die Softly is one of Pike's darker stories, ending with a twisted finale that leaves one depressed and stunned. There are so many curves in this road it should be blockaded. It never stays stag
“He had smoked dope exactly twice, but stopped when he realized it was called dope for a reason.”
― Christopher Pike, Die Softly

This book was seriously creepy and maybe the most gory of all the Pike books I have read. It also is quite different then what I have read from him before but since I have not read everything I cannot speak for all his books.


There is alot of violence in this book and some gore. It also has a horrible ending. It is not one of my favorites by Pike but it is worth
It's not often you get a creeper as the MC whose eyes you read through. But even despite the fact that this guy rigged up a camera to take pictures of his naked classmates, Pike wrote it in such a way that Herb was still an appealing guy. I didn't get skeeved out at all while reading. In fact, I empathized with Herb a little. He was just setting himself up for a stupid prank but he ended up getting handed a lot more.

Pike has an excellent way of teetering guilt from one character to another. You
Grady Hendrix
Basically it's Christopher Pike delivering a Brian De Palma movie. ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-pikecast
3.5 Pikes, rounded up.

Check out our full thoughts of Die Softly on The PikeCast! Die Softly episode will premiere on October 1!

You can find The PikeCast on both Spotify and Apple, along with:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Patreon | Goodreads Group
Cassie Daley
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-pikecast
3.5, rounded up! Discussing this one in depth for the premiere episode of The PikeCast, airing October 1st!

Join our Goodreads Group:
Follow us on Twitter:
Follow us on Instagram:
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Believable depiction of a male teen...up to a point. Photography makes for an original plot device.
Cons: Unlikeable characters. Not particularly engaging prose. Some paragraphs could have benefited more editing.
WARNING! Some gruesome deaths. Sex is mentioned/implied; drugs are heavily featured.
Will appeal to: Those who love a classic teen thriller '90s-style...only a lot darker than average.

Well, yes, this isn't one of my favourit
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Content Warning: Murder, sexual assault, drug use, and fat shaming.

Thanks to the The Pike Cast I'm revisting the YA Horror books which turned me into a reader.

Die Softly was published in 1991. This story begins with Herb Trasker plotting to photograph the cheerleaders in the shower and takes an even more disturbing turn when he ends up capturing a murder.

I laughed a lot while reading this. Sometimes because of the dialogue, sometimes in disbelief. It felt like I was reading a B rated horror fil
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nostalgia
Well as a teen back in the late 90's and early 2000's I read a ton of Christopher Pike. Now I decided to go back and re-read whatever I could find. I remembered why teen me was so obsessed with these books and they kind of do resemble the adult fiction I read now. Nostalgia has been satisfied! On to The Immortal. ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my FAVORITE Christopher Pike books. I read this one so many times. The ending was amazing, I loved this book so much.
If you're looking for an early 90's, cheesy (in a good way), horror novel, Die Softly by Christopher Pike is sure to deliver. This 248 page book follows 18 year old Herb, a perverted photographer who decides to take naked photos of the cheerleading team without consent (influenced by his friend Sammie, who makes her hatred of the cheerleaders evident in the first few pages). Herb realizes that his "prank" won't go unpunished, he ends up capturing the murder of one of the prettier (and meaner) ch ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just re-read this for Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror):
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teen sex, cocaine, murder, voyeurism... All components of a proper YA novel. ;)

Reading these again in my 30s is extra fun because they take about as much time to get through as a movie adaptation would take to watch. In retrospect, reading these as a young girl probably colored my perception of life a bit.

A fun jaunt down memory lane.
Oct 30, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sarah & I have decided to rekindle our cheesy teenage reading habits by having a CEFS co-blogger throwback read-a-long of this one.
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how gripping Pike was! So good to delve into his mind again.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christopher-pike
What the fuck....
Tim Ganotis
Revisiting this one from the junior high days. Outrageous then: teens doing coke. Outrageous now: teens using film cameras.
Rachael's Reading Corner
One of my favorite Christopher Pike books. How is the rating so low?
Adian Sheeren
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I was a huge fan of this book. Christopher Pike effectively portrayed all different kinds of characters. Some how, Pike was able to create the very complex character "Herb Trasker". Herb was your typical high school outcast, with a knack for photography. However, Herb did have a bit of a twisted mind, and he set up his camera to take pictures of naked cheerleaders at school. Despite this, Pike was somehow able to still make Herb appealing to the reader. Additionally, Pike had the str ...more
Kali Burks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Kircher
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5/5 stars. A great, fast read. This book is about Herb, who took a picture of a girl’s locker room and how that picture involved more than what was on the photo. I loved how all the loose ends were tied up nicely and the ending was great; everything came full circle. I loved everything about this book: the plot, characters, setting, the writing, the ending, everything. Some of my favorite scenes are: when Herb and Alexa are at his bedroom toward the end, when Theo saves Herb from Stephen at an i ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kind of disappointed, won’t lie.
Pike’s books covers (I have a copy with the original cover) are like clickbait before clickbait was a thing. I was lead to believe it would be a fun slasher but was greeted with a murder mystery kinda thing. Which is ok but unfortunately I had a hard time getting invested with this one, which is shocking because usually I adore his work. Idk it seemed slow paced I guess and at parts kinda repetitive. I say skip this one unless you’re out to read all his books or s
Aurora Dimitre
So this was a fun one. Very twisty and weird. I did really like Theo. I thought he was a super interesting character. Somehow I always end up like, really latching onto a really minor character but this is a seventeen year old alcoholic out to place revenge on whoever caused his older brother's death and like, that's an interesting character concept.

But overall it was an interesting one. Kinda typical Pike, but that's not a bad thing.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A peeping tom hero, an entire community of people who're up at 4am—and why are all Christopher Pike books thinly veiled anti-drugs, pro-God and pro-gun propaganda?

I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror.
Tehnehn Kaijaah Edwards
This book is just as good as I remember it. CPIKE is a fantastic and engaging writer. The twists, the turns, the story. It is hands down one of my faves he has written and even though I read it as a teenager the ending still blows my mind. I will that I felt for our antagonist and protagonist at the same time. I sat and read it in like 2 to 3 hours and I regret nothing, So good. I could not stop.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guys, it’s Christopher Pike. It’s a five and y’all know it.

I was twelve when I first read this book and it blew my mind 🤣 so it will always be a five star for me, regardless of the writing or plot or terrible depictions of women (you can be a fat loser with a bad haircut or a seductive murderess, but please... no complex, fully developed female characters in Mannville, CA).
Everyone in this book is terrible. I knew that I'd read this one as a kid but couldn't recall anything about it aside from cheerleaders and cocaine. Pike's writing is as compelling as ever, but the narrative isn't all that captivating, and it's difficult to care about anything that happens or anyone it happens to. ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


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Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children's fiction who specializes in the thriller genre.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programm

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“He had smoked dope exactly twice, but stopped when he realized it was called dope for a reason.” 2 likes
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